10 Best Solar Pool Heater Reviewed & Compared in 2018

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10 Best Solar Pool Heater Reviewed & Compared in 2018

Have you walked timidly into an ice cold pool one too many times? Are you finally ready to invest in your happiness and find a top-notch solar pool heater? If your answer to these questions is an emphatic “YES!” you’ve found your way to the right page. With an undeniable love of the environment and a lifelong passion for swimming pools, we’ve seen every solar pool heater under the sun and have put the very best to the test to help you find the best solar pool heater for your backyard oasis.

Our comprehensive solar pool heater reviews and invaluable tips will have you relaxing in an 80-degree pool in time at all. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Our Top 3 Picks

  • GAME 4714
  • Easy to set up with everything included
  • Extremely efficient and very cost-effective
  • Price: See Here!
  • Heliocol 1′ x 9.5′ Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel
  • One 1-foot x 9.5-foot panel
  • One 1-foot x 9.5-foot panel
  • Price: See Here!
  • GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve
  • Unique curved shape provides more sun absorption than the competitors
  • Energy-efficient and very environmentally-friendly
  • Price: See Here!

Solar Pool Heater Reviews — Ratings and Reviews

Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool HeaterSmartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater for In Ground Pools

 

The Smartpool Sunheater Solar Pool Heater utilizes a traditional solar collector panel system to deliver consistent heat for pennies on the dollar.

Pros and Cons
  • Able to raise water temperature up to 15 degrees
  • Works well for above ground and in-ground pools
  • Interchangeable connectors for versatility
  • Easy-to-connect direct flow system
  • Works passively
  • Nearly cost-free to operate
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Installation could be easier
  • Large panel size
While installing the Smartpool Sunheater can be a bit tricky compared to other systems on the market, it features a time-tested design and durable construction, allowing it to work like a champ when it’s all set up. With the ability to passively and inexpensively raise the water temperature of your pool by 10-15 degrees in less than a day, the Smartpool is arguably the best solar pool heater being made today.

The Smartpool Sunheater Solar Pool Heater features a large panel design capable of heating the water temperature of your pool by 10-15 degrees in under a day. Similar to other solar pool heaters you’ll read about in the best solar pool heater reviews below, the Smartpool Sunheater utilizes a series of tubes and panels that connect to your pool pump. Other than its slightly difficult installation, this solar panel pool heater is a homerun.

Product Details:

• Solar panel collector pool heating system
• Direct flow design
• Polypropylene heat collector
• Interchangeable connectors
• 4-foot x 20-foot panel array

Conclusion

Often imitated but never duplicated, the Helicol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel looks great and performs even better. Thanks to its easy installation, slim profile, and industry-leading heating efficiency, it’s quickly become one of the best solar pool heaters in the business.

 

 

Heliocol 1′ x 9.5′ Swimming Pool Solar Heating PanelHeliocol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel 1' x 9.5' - HC-9.5

 

 

Solar companies have used every imaginable design and material to maximize their ability to heat pools via the power of the sun. However, few if any have ever been able to match the performance, durability, and sleek good looks of the Heliocol 1′ x 9.5′ Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel. This powerful panel system has a wide-range of unique benefits responsible for making it one of the best solar pool heaters around.

Pros and Cons
  • Sleek, appealing design
  • Uni-body single-piece construction
  • Easy installation
  • Engineered for durability
  • Great reputation
  • Eco-friendly
  • May need additional panels for larger pools
The Heliocol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel is one of the best on the market and produces more heat than nearly any other solar pool heater out there. Featuring a proprietary individual tube design for maximum heat absorption and a patented mounting system, it’s truly one of the most powerful, versatile, and easy to install solar pool heaters available.

With the Heliocol, you’ll be taking advantage of smart engineering and reaping the rewards. You could spend hours researching solar pool heater reviews trying to find the best one for your pool, but honestly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another quite like this Heliocol.

Product Details:

• Solar panel collector pool heating system
• Individual tube design
• Uni-body construction
• One 1-foot x 9.5-foot panel
• Maintenance-free system

Heliocol HC-9.5 Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel - 1' x 9.5'

Conclusion

Often imitated but never duplicated, the Helicol Swimming Pool Solar Heating Panel looks great and performs even better. Thanks to its easy installation, slim profile, and industry-leading heating efficiency, it’s quickly become one of the best solar pool heaters in the business.

 

SmartPool Universal Swimming Pool Solar Heating SystemSmartPool Universal Swimming Pool Solar Heating System - 4 x 20 Feet

 

Perfect for gently warming any pool, the SmartPool Universal Swimming Pool Solar Heating System features a proven solar panel collector design and a patented tube construction for optimum heat transference. With superior water circulation, a universal design perfect for any pool, and easy DIY installation as well, it’s easy to see why so many pool owners consider it the best solar pool heater on the market.

Pros and Cons
  • Easy DIY installation
  • Universal compatibility
  • Direct flow design provides superior water circulation
  • Mounting kit, diverter valve kit, pipe adapters, and end caps included
  • Eco-friendly
  • More panels needed for larger pools
  • Large solar panels require ample roof or yard space
It may be large and cost a little more than some of the other options on this list, but the SmartPool Universal has a track record of performance and won’t let you down. If you have room on your roof or in the backyard and don’t mind paying a few shackles more for a proven solar heating solution, this SmartPool may be the solar pool heater for you.

The SmartPool Universal Swimming Pool Solar Heating System is designed for both in-ground and above ground pools and compatible with all types of pumps. With a relatively easy DIY installation as well, it’s by far one of the best out-of-the-box options being sold today.

The versatile solar pool heater features two 2-foot x 20-foot durable and lightweight black polyolefin panels and a patented tube design for excellent heat transference. Combined with its direct flow water circulation design, ease of installation, and universal compatibility, the SmartPool Universal is an obvious choice for many pool owners.

Product Details:

• Solar panel collector pool heating system
• Universal pool pump compatibility
• Patented tube construction
• Direct flow system
• Two-inch OD headers
• 4-foot x 20-foot panel array
• 1 1/4-inch x 1 1/2-inch connectors

Conclusion

The Smart Pool Universal Swimming Pool Solar Heating System is consistently recommended in solar pool heater reviews for its easy installation and consistent performance. While it won’t turn a large in-ground pool into a hot tub overnight, it provides passive warmth and works like a champ, earning it our recommendation as well.

 

Fafco Above Ground Solar Bear Solar Heating SystemFafco Above Ground Solar Bear Solar Heating System- 4'x20' Panel

 

If you’re hunting for a reasonably priced and eco-friendly solution for warming your above ground pool, it’s hard not to like the Fafco Above Ground Solar Bear Solar Heating System. Although the solar panel on the Solar Bear also measures a lengthy 20 feet, which may or may not be suitable for your backyard, there are no connectors to deal with, making it incredibly easy to use.

Pros and Cons
  • Durable, UV-resistant design
  • Oversized headers for maximum water circulation and heat transfer
  • No connectors for an easier install
  • Impressive warranty
  • Eco-friendly
  • Large panel size requires a lot of space
  • A few reports of tube leaks
With a durable UV-resistant construction, oversized two-inch headers, and an impressive 10-year warranty as well, the Fafco Above Ground Solar Bear Solar Heating System provides above ground pool owners with a lot of bang for the buck.

A quick skim through some solar pool heater reviews and you’ll see Fafco has a long history of making quality products. However, the Fafco Above Ground Solar Bear Solar Pool Heater may just be one of its best. While the large size of the Solar Bear is truly Grizzly-like, it’s extremely durable and works as advertised. With an easy installation, proven design, solid reputation, and top-of-the-line features, it’s one of the best solar pool heater options your hard-earned money can buy.

Product Details:

• Solar panel collector pool heating system
• UV-resistant black polyethylene construction
• 4-foot x 20-foot panel array
• Two-inch oversized headers
• 10-year warranty

Conclusion

The Fafco Solar Bear Above Ground Solar Pool Heater may be large and in charge, but it’s one of the most popular solar pool heaters out there and provides consistent performance day in and day out. Featuring oversized headers, a durable construction, 10-year warranty, and more, this proven solar pool heater will warm up your above ground pool and keep it swim-ready all year long.

 

Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming PoolsIntex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pool

 

The Intex Solar Heater Mat is a far cry from the traditional solar panel pool heaters we’ve discussed so far. However, you shouldn’t let its small size fool you, because this energy-efficient solar mat works extremely well, especially for its size and price. Designed to work seamlessly with a myriad of Intex filter pumps, it’s the perfect solution for any space- or budget-strapped pool owner.

Pros and Cons
  • Very inexpensive
  • Takes up very little space
  • Compatible with all Intex above ground pools
  • Able to join mats together for additional heat
  • Very energy-efficient and eco-friendly
  • Doesn’t heat water quite as well as larger solar heaters
  • Only suitable for Intex pools
The Intex Solar Heater Mat for Above Ground Swimming Pools measures a mere 47 inches x 47 inches and lays flat on the ground, making it one of the smallest and least noticeable solar pool heaters on the market. The small and mighty heating mat connects directly to an Intex pump, allowing it to circulate water back into the pool and raise its temperature from five to 10 degrees in no time at all.

Although the Intex Solar Heater Mat lacks some of the heating power provided by larger and more expensive heaters, its laughably low price tag and decent heating abilities has made it one of the most popular solar pool heating options being sold today.

Product Details:

• Solar mat swimming pool heating system
• Horizontal tube design
• Works with 1/2 hp Intex filter pumps
• Direct pump connectivity
• 32 mm hose attachment and adapters included
• Measures 47 inches x 47 inches

Conclusion

With hundreds of rave solar pool heater reviews from budget-conscious above ground pool owners, the Intex Solar Heater Mat has received a ton of well-deserved praise. Featuring a space-saving design, super low asking price, and the ability to warm any Intex pool by up to ten degrees, there’s nothing not to like about this popular solar mat.

 

GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool HeaterGAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater for Intex & Bestway Above Ground and in Ground Pools (Includes Intex Adapters)

 

Like the solar mat above, the GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater utilizes smart technology and engineering to provide ample heat for your pool without taking up too much space. As one of the best solar pool heater options out there for today’s above ground pool owners, the SolarPRO Curve is compact, energy-efficient, and capable of transforming your pool from frigid to balmy in just a few days.

Pros and Cons
  • Unique curved shape enhances sun absorption
  • Compact design
  • Easy to install
  • Affordably priced
  • Works great for above ground pools
  • Energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly
  • Doesn’t provide as much heat as some of the larger solar heating systems
Despite its meager size, the unique curved shape of the SolarPRO Curve allows it to produce surprising, eco-friendly results. With a surprisingly low price tag as well, there’s no reason not to get your curve on and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

GAME SolarPRO Curve is uniquely designed to passively and efficiently warm up nearly any above ground pool by up to 10 degrees in just a few days. With a solar collection system designed to gather as much of the sun’s energy as possible as it moves across the horizon each and every day, it’s easy to see why it’s garnered so many overwhelmingly positive above ground solar pool heater reviews. Well, here’s to one more.

When you factor in its bargain price, easy installation, and durable construction as well, you can’t help but love the SolarPRO Curve and all that it can do. It definitely earns two BIG thumbs up!

Product Details:

• Curved solar collector pool heating system
• Compatible with Intex and BestWay above ground pools
• Curved panel system maximizes heat absorption
• Commercial-grade collectors and construction
• Threaded ports
• Hoses, stainless steel clamps, and Intex adapters included

Conclusion

If you’re reading these solar pool heater reviews hoping to find a compact, well-engineered model for your above ground pool, the GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Featuring a small footprint and a smart curved design for maximum absorption and efficiency, it provides everything you could ask for in an inexpensive pool heater and then some.

 

GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater for IntexGAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater for Intex

 

Not satisfied with the curved design of the SolarPRO Curve and looking for something even a little more unique? If so, the GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour is probably right up your alley.

Pros and Cons
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Unique dome design
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to set up with everything included
  • Efficient and cost-effective
  • More heaters needed for medium or larger-sized pools
  • Only compatible with Intex pools
Rather than having your space limited by some large panel, this small portable solar pool heater utilizes a dome design, which not only boosts its efficiency, but decreases its footprint as well. With an affordable price tag and easy installation to boot, the SolarPRO Contour is arguably the best solar pool heater out there for small Intex above ground pools.

The GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater isn’t the most powerful solar pool heater you’re going to run across, but it’s definitely one of the smallest, least expensive, and easiest to use.

Unlike the other options you’ve read about in these best solar pool heater reviews, the SolarPRO Contour features a unique dome design and curling connector tubes, allowing it to absorb an incredible amount of heat for its size. Given its affordable price as well, it’s one of the most practical and cost-effective pool heating solutions out there.

Product Details:

• Solar dome pool heater
• Curling connector tubes
• Heats up to 6,000 gallons per unit
• Compatible with Intex pools and other SolarPRO Contours for larger pools
• 1 1/4-inch and 1 1/2-inch connectors
• Four-foot hoses, stainless steel clamps, and fitting included

Conclusion

The GAME SolarPro Contour impresses in a number of ways. Although it’s only designed for Intex abive ground pools, its innovative design, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness make it a great choice for any Intex pool owner.

 

SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal SystemSUNHEATER® 2' X 10' Solar Heating Universal System

 

The SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal System is a traditional solar panel collector pool heating system and utilizes a long panel full of tubes where water is circulated, warmed, and sent back into your pool up to 15 degrees warmer.

Pros and Cons
  • Works well for above ground and in-ground pools
  • Able to raise pool temperatures by 10-15 degrees
  • Interchangeable connectors for adaptability
  • Direct flow system
  • Great value
  • Eco-friendly
  • Not the easiest to install
  • Large panel size
While installing the SUNHEATER can be a bit difficult in comparison to some of the other models we’ve discussed, the panel is lightweight and easy to maneuver in place. It’s also durable and performs well day in and day out, consistently keeping your pool warm in a passive and cost-efficient way. Best of all, it’s extremely well-priced and suitable for both in-ground and above ground pools, making it one of the most effective and versatile solar pool heaters for the money on the market.

The SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal System features a traditional panel and tube design capable of raising the water temperature of small to medium in-ground and above ground pools by 10-15 degrees.

Like other panel-based solar pool heaters mentioned in these solar pool heater reviews, the SUNHEATER connects to your existing pump, which circulates water through a series of tubes, where it is warmed prior to being circulated back into your pool. Although installing it without the help of a professional may prove difficult for some, it checks every other box and definitely deserves a spot on your short list.

Product Details:

• Solar collector pool heating system
• 2-foot x 10-foot panel array
• Easy-connect direct flow system
• Interchangeable connectors
• Suitable for pools up to 40 square feet
• Five-year warranty

Conclusion

If you’re not particularly handy and lack valuable backyard space, the SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Heating Universal System may not be for you. However, if you have room for a 10-foot panel and don’t mind using your noodle and a little elbow grease to get it up and running, which isn’t rocket science by the way, you’re going to love this proven workhorse of a pool heater.

 

XtremepowerUS 2′ X 20′ Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating SystemXtremepowerUS Inground / Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System 2' X 20'

 

Do you like the proven performance of conventional solar panel pool heaters and want one at an unbelievable price? If so, the XtremepowerUS 2’ x 20’ Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Pros and Cons
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Works for both in-ground and above ground pools
  • Able to warm water by 10-15 degrees
  • More than one panel needed for pools larger than 80 square feet
  • May need diverter kit
This laughably low priced system features a 2-foot x 20-foot solar panel collector is easy to install and hooks up directly to your pool’s pump and filter system. In less than a day, you can have it installed and working its magic as it begins warming your pool by up to 15 degrees. Plus, it’s one of the least expensive solar pool heating systems you’re going to find anywhere! What’s not to like about that?

The XtremepowerUS Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System is honestly the best solar pool heater for the money you’ll find in any swimming pool solar heaters review. The 2-foot x 20-foot panel may take up some space, but it’s super well-priced, relatively easy to install, and works well for both in-ground and above ground pools.

That being said, the XtremepowerUS isn’t the most powerful or the absolute best solar pool heater in the world. While it’s capable of raising the water temperature of an average size above ground pool by 10-15 degrees in just a couple of days, another panel or two may be needed for larger in-ground pools. Other than that, it’s pretty tough to beat.

Product Details:

• Solar collector pool heating system
• 2-foot x 20-foot panel array
• Conventional tube design
• Quick-connect assembly
• Diverter kit required for pumps over 1.5hp

Conclusion

As one of the least expensive and easiest to use solar panel pool heaters being sold today, the XtremepowerUS Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System is definitely worth consideration. With a price tag that doesn’t break the bank and consistent heating performance for any type of pool, it’s a no-brainer for many pool owners.

 

Doheny’s 4′ x 10′ Space Saver Solar Heating CollectorDoheny's 4' x 10' (Two 2x10 Panels) Space Saver Solar Heating Collector

 

The Doheny’s Space Saver Solar Heating Collector does a great job of heating up pool water to comfortable temps day in and day out. Despite being quite large like other traditional swimming pool solar heating panels, the well-made Doheny’s panel system can be installed and warming up your ice cold pool in less than an hour. With a reasonable price tag as well, this professional-quality solar pool heater is tough to overlook.

Pros and Cons
  • Easy installation
  • Designed for all types of pools and pumps
  • Provides up to 15 degrees of heat
  • Great MAX-FLO design
  • Very cost-efficient
  • Panel size requires some space
The Doheny’s Space Saver Solar Heating Collector looks great and works just as good. Designed for easy installation and featuring a direct flow MAX-FLO design for optimum water circulation without spending a dollar more on electricity or gas, it’s an effective and budget-friendly pool heating solution that’s good for the environment as well.

The Doheny’s is also versatile and made to work with any type of pool or pump. Combined with its five-year warranty and reasonable price tag, it’s truly one of the best all-around swimming pool heaters available and just as good as any of the other options recommended in these solar pool heater reviews.

Product Details:

• Solar panel collector pool heating system
• Compatible with in-ground and above ground pools
• Two 2-foot x 20-foot panels
• Two-inch MAX-FLO OD headers
• 1 1/4-inch x 1 1/2-inch connectors included
• Five-year warranty

Conclusion

If you’re tired of tip toeing into a frigid pool, have a decent-sized backyard, and want an excellent all-around pool heater that won’t cost you an arm and a leg every year in utility bills, the Doheny’s Space Saver Solar heating Collector is the way to go. Sure, there are other options out there, but very few provide so many benefits for so little, earning it 5s across the board and making it the perfect solar pool heater to round out this list.

 

How to Choose a Solar Pool Heater

Solar pool heating systems cost less and generally last longer than gas pool heaters and heat pumps. However, you can’t just go out and purchase any old solar panel, cross your fingers, and pray for good luck. To make sure you choose the best solar pool heater for your pool, you must first:

  • Evaluate the sunlight of your location
  • Research local codes and regulations
  • Determine the size and efficiency of the system you need
  • Figure out where to place it and the angle of the collector
  • Compare the costs of various systems

Rather than reading a few above ground and inground pool solar heater reviews and picking out the first one that catches your eye, the very first thing you should do is consider the amount of sunlight your home receives. The design and efficiency of a solar pool heater is entirely dependent on how much solar energy it’s able to collect.

Most quality solar pool heaters are able to collect both direct and diffuse solar energy. Therefore, you don’t necessarily have to live in someplace with a constantly sunny climate like Arizona or Southern California in order to benefit from a solar heating system. As long as your backyard has some unshaded areas, it’s likely suitable for a solar pool heater.

Now that you have that squared away, it’s time to determine the size of the system, which involves the following factors:

  • Pool size
  • Amount of available solar energy
  • Desired pool temperature
  • Average regional temperature
  • System efficiency
  • Whether or not you plan on using a solar cover

When determining sizing and system requirements for a conventional solar panel pool heating system, you basically want the surface area of whichever model you choose to equal at least 50 percent of your pool’s surface area.

If you live in a cloudy or cooler locale, the surface area may need to be even greater. In most cases the greater the surface area of the panels, the warmer your pool will be.

In northern climates, people only use their pools six or so months out of the year, allowing the summer sun to do most of the work. Meanwhile, pools in Florida and other sunny and warm climates often require larger or additional panels for year round use. That being said, the required size of a panel can be instantly reduced by using a solar pool cover, regardless of where you live.

In addition to the size of your pool, you also need to consider the size of the pool pump when choosing a solar pool heater. If you’re getting rid of a gas pool heater and switching to a solar pool heater as many pool owners often do, you may need a larger pump or an additional one for optimal water circulation.

How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Heating

On a final note, the cost and installation of a solar pool heater are two obvious factors to also consider. As you can see from the solar pool heater reviews above, there are plenty of high-quality solar pool heating systems available for much less than you would imagine. However, while some are easy to install and can be setup and running in under an hour, others require a little more patience and know-how.

Nonetheless, there are some excellent options out there for every pool and pool owner. All you have to do is consider these factors and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a heated backyard oasis in no time at all.

How Solar Pool Heating Systems Work

Most solar pool heaters utilize a solar collector, filter, pump, and flow control valve. Pool water is simply pumped through a filter and makes its way to the tubes of a solar collector, where it’s warmed before being returned to the pool. If you live in a hotter climate and would like to actually cool the pool for a more refreshing dip, your system’s collector can also be used to do just that by circulating water through it at night.

As far as operation goes, that’s pretty much it. However, it’s important to note some pool collectors have sensors and water diverter valves, which divert water when the temperature of the collector sufficiently exceeds the pool temperature. When this occurs and the temperature of the pool is similar to the collector temperature, water bypasses the collector and pumped back into the pool.Best Solar Pool Heating Systems

When discussing solar pool heating systems and how they operate, you should also know that they’re not all made of the same materials. The type of system and material you’ll need largely depends on your local climate and how you plan on using it.

If you’re like most people and only plan on using your pool when there’s no snow on the ground, an unglazed panel collector without a glass covering should be fine. Unglazed solar panel pool heaters usually feature a heavy-duty plastic or rubber construction and a UV light inhibitor treatment for extra durability. Due to their simple and inexpensive design, unglazed panel systems, like many of the ones recommended above, are extremely popular and an obvious choice for many pool owners.

How to Install a Solar Pool Heater

Depending on the solar pool heater you pick, installing it can either be a breeze or a nightmare. It isn’t rocket science, but here’s the step-by-step rundown on how to install most solar pool heaters being made today.

The first step is picking the right sized heater. When shopping for a solar pool heater, the general rule of thumb is to select a heater with a collector panel with approximately 50 percent less surface area than your pool.

In all actuality, however, there are several factors to consider when deciding on the best collector panel size for your pool, such as:

Pool Type icon Pool type – Above ground pools experience much more heat loss than in-ground pools. Therefore, they require solar collector panels with more surface area for even more heat absorption.

Pump Running Time IconPump running time – The longer your pool pump is able to run, the more water can pass through the collector, become heated, and returned back into the pool, thus requiring a solar collector with less surface area.

Drawn icon of a small sun

Solar potential – This is the amount of sunlight the panels receive when the pump is on. the energy consumed by the pump will offset some of the advantage of using solar-thermal power, reduce the gains you’re making, and lengthen the payback time.

Drawn icon of a tornado Wind – Glazed solar collector panels work best in windy areas.

With the pool pump running, place the solar collector in a sunny spot in your yard. Solar pool heaters work best with direct sunlight, so this second step may be the most crucial. If you decide to place it on your roof to free up space or be less of an eyesore, it’s important to minimize water flow resistance and keep the panel out of as much wind as possible.

Cut the PVC line after the filter and connect a couple of flex hoses or PVC to run to the collector panel, which can be positioned flat on the ground or tilted toward the sun for maximum absorption.

With the solar collector panel now connected to the pool pump, the next step is installing the water diverter valve, which comes included with most quality solar pool heaters. The included instructions should explain exactly how to perform the install for the particular model you choose.

When done, however, the valve will allow water to run exclusively through the panel when closed and constrict water from flowing through the panel when open, giving you complete control over the exact temperature of your pool.

Every solar pool heater differs from one another, but that’s generally all there is to the installation process. Most solar pool heating systems are designed to be installed and up and running in just a few hours.

Solar Pool Heater VS Solar Pool Cover VS Floating Solar Pool Heater VS Solar Sun Ring

There are basically four solar pool heating options out there to choose from. Let’s take a look at how each one compares to help you decide which solution is right for you.

Solar Pool Heaters
Like the ones mentioned in the solar pool heater reviews above, use sunlight to heat pool water to a comfortable temperature. Solar pool heaters are incredibly popular and are by far the most energy-efficient pool heating solution, saving pool owners hundreds and even thousands each year in energy costs. These types of pool heaters are also quite durable and usually well-made, requiring zero to no maintenance once they’re up and running.
Solar Pool Covers
Every pool should have a solar pool cover. These nifty devices do a great job of absorbing solar energy and sealing heat in the water. In fact, some solar pool covers can raise the temperature of a swimming pool by up to 20 degrees in just a few short days. In addition to being incredibly efficient, they’re usually reasonably priced and made to last for years. For these reasons, most smart pool owners use both a solar pool heater and a solar pool cover when their pool’s not in use.
Floating Solar Pool Heaters
Floating solar pool heaters are pretty cool, but they’re also pretty darn expensive. In fact, you can easily shell out a few thousand dollars for a quality model. That being said, most are well worth the investment. With waterproof construction and the ability to float freely atop a pool and safely turn it into a comfortable spa, a floating solar pool heater is a great option for a tech-loving pool owner with some money to burn.
Solar Sun Rings
If you’re here in search of the best solar pool heater, solar sun rings probably aren’t for you. However, these portable solar heaters are growing in popularity each day and are nearly as effective as solar pool covers. Unfortunately, solar sun rings aren’t nearly as efficient and it takes quite a few to make a real difference. They’re also not real durable, and although solar sun rings are one of the least expensive pool heating solutions, they may or not be one of the best for you and your pool.

Solar Pool Heater FAQ

faq

How much can a solar pool heater raise the temperature of a pool?

With a quality solar pool heater, you can expect the temperature of your pool to raise by approximately 10-15 degrees. Of course, the answer to this question depends on the size and location of your pool. A solar pool cover or blanket can also be used to trap in the heat and make it even more comfortable, especially during the winter months.

Can a solar swimming pool heater be used for an in-ground pool?

Yes and no. Many solar pool heaters with traditional panel collectors are designed to work for both above ground and in-ground pools. However, while the best solar pool heater can heat both, some models simply aren’t designed to heat up large in-ground pools. That being said, many times you can connect multiple pool solar heaters for all the heat you could ask for.

Real solar pool heater performance – what is it?

The right sized solar pool heater should be capable of heating your pool to 80 degrees during the summer months and reaching 70 degrees from Thanksgiving to Easter. Its real performance can be measured against these stats.

How much does a solar pool heater cost to run?

Today’s solar pool heating systems are quite affordable and allow pool owners to enjoy comfortable warmer pools with little additional operating costs. However, the actual cost of running a solar pool heater depends on a number of factors, such as the size of your pool, the heater’s efficiency, and whether or not it’s equipped with an automatic diverter valve. Nonetheless, solar pool heaters in general are much cheaper to run than gas or electric pool heaters.

How do you install a solar pool heater?

The answer to this question is explained above just after the solar pool heater reviews, but it can’t hurt going over the installation process and its simplicity one more time. A solar pool heater can either be installed on the ground next to the pool and pump or on a roof out of the way.

Nearly all solar pool heaters connect to the pool’s pump and feature valves, hoses, and brackets for easy installation. Although some larger models may require a professional installer, most can be installed by anyone in under an hour.

Making the Decision

If you’re serious about finding the best solar pool heater for your pool and managed to read this entire guide, you should now feel more than confident in your ability to pick the perfect one. However, you can read solar pool heater reviews all day long and still end up with an ice cold pool. Rather than twiddle your thumbs, go ahead and take the next step by pulling the trigger on the right solar pool heater for you and your pool.

Solar Pool Heater Review for In Ground Pools Smartpool Sunheater

Whether you want a cheap solar pool heater or don’t mind spending a little more for performance, there’s definitely a solar pool heater out there for you. So, consider your pool and your needs, read the reviews one more time, and treat yourself and your family to a warm and toasty pool today. Other than your pool, it may just be the best investment in your happiness you’ll ever make!